June 20, 2008
Allow me to show you a couple of mental snapshots. First imagine a picture of a family in a modern SUV. Mom and dad up front with three kids in the back, safely secured with their seat belts on. That’s snapshot number one. Now, imagine two men dressed in tuxedos embracing and kissing at their wedding ceremony. Both are wearing flowers in their lapels and a beaming clergyman is standing behind them having just pronounced them “husband and husband.” That’s snapshot number two. Now, hold these pictures in front of you and ask yourself this question: Which of these represents an immoral action? According to much of our culture today—the immoral picture is number one—that of the family in the SUV. Ridiculous, you say?
A recent editorial by Thomas Friedman which was carried by the New York Times clearly makes the case that selling and/or driving a “gas guzzler” has indeed become a major moral issue. Commenting on an automotive industry incentive program to entice customers to buy their products, Friedman declared this “the moral equivalent of tobacco companies offering discounted cigarettes to teenagers.” Think Friedman is alone? Princeton’s Peter Singer has written that SUV drivers kill more people than the 9/11 terrorists. Arianna Huffington has compared SUV drivers to terrorists. This thinking is further evidenced within evangelicalism: Richard Cizik, vice president for Governmental Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals has stated numerous times that Christians will experience the wrath of God if they don’t get on the environmental bandwagon—which would include abandoning those horrible SUVs! For Cizik and the growing “Creation Care” movement within evangelicalism, the Green Movement is not only moral, it’s spiritual. Sadly, a large portion of our population would agree that the family in the SUV is committing an immoral action, even many in the evangelical community.
Back to our two snapshots—the family in a large vehicle and the homosexuals at their “wedding.” What if we could place these two pictures in our pocket and jump into a time machine? What if we asked the machine to transport us back just 40 years?—a tiny journey in light of human history. We step out of our machine and begin asking people on the street about our two pictures. We show them to various individuals, from different walks of life, then ask the question: Which of these pictures represents an “immoral activity? Can you imagine the response? Time after time, you would be asked, “Are you serious?” Some would simply laugh at you for asking such an absurd question. “A mom and dad with their kids driving in a large automobile—immoral? Are you sure you have the right two pictures?” After the laughter and incredulity, almost all would point to the picture of the two men and state with absolute clarity that there is something definitely wrong and unnatural about that picture.
There is a verse in the Bible that comes to mind: “So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter" (Isaiah 59:14). It’s a prophetic utterance of a time when judgment would be turned inside out and backward. Right would be wrong, wrong would be right and truth would be the victim, having “stumbled in the streets.” It would seem we are there. At the same times as the New York Times was implying that anyone driving an SUV is committing an immoral act, they were praising the new age of freedom being ushered in by the California rush of same-sex marriages. In other words, the mainstream media has placed their own captions on our two pictures. The happily married mother and father with their kids in the SUV is labeled “shameful.” The two men involved in what God calls and abomination is labeled “wonderful.” Is it possible for our world to become any more upside down and backward? Sadly, yes.
Take another look at our two snapshots and the captions that our society has placed on both of them. Now, ask yourself this question: Is this really the way it’s supposed to be?
Bob Burney is Salem Communications’ award-winning host of “Bob Burney Live,” heard weekday afternoons on WRFD-AM 880 in Columbus, Ohio. Contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.